What is cool?
There appears to be a very thin line in modern society that divides what is determined as “cool” and what is twatty. Cool controls fashion, music, art and all other forms of media that, in turn, control how society moves forward. Cool is the determining factor as to whether a film, tv show, band or indeed pair of trousers garner a huge amount of admirers or is lost into the cold void of obscurity.
If that wasn’t scary enough, cool is constantly changing. Like a feather on the wind – or a woman’s mind – the very nature of cool is scattered from hill to valley on a daily basis.
In an ideal world I would like to simply concentrate on music. It would be heaven not to worry about anything else but writing and arranging songs that I can play to a willing audience and have a great time. That’s pretty much what the band is about. But in a digitally connected world where competition is high and judgement is passed in a swift click, the modern band has a much better chance of being a success if they’re cool. This means talking the talk, walking the walk and creating something that people can attach to.
Successful bands all had periods of cool. Longer lasting bands are the embodiment of cool. And some artists realised that to be at the top forever, you have to constantly ride the feather of cool and change everything to be the coolest. Bowie, Madonna, The Beatles and Michael Jackson were trend setters, refreshing everything from the hair and clothes to the style of the live show. The Rolling Stones found a style that worked of timeless coolness and stuck to it. Even though Keith Richards is nearly 103 he still pulls on the skin tight jeans, covers his wrinkled wallet face in makeup and swigs from a JD bottle to be the character that people expect him to be on stage. Even if the whiskey is replaced with cold tea (it is) then why should we care? It’s all for the illusion of cool.
Bands like KISS mastered cool for a period of time but would that work now? Face paint, matching costumes and excessive fashion accessories are a gamble. If you time it perfectly they can add a “fuck you look at us” factor to your show or they can forever tarnish you as a tongue in cheek novelty band. Look at the rise and monumental plummet of The Darkness.
As a rock band in modern society, the decision we have to make now is – how do we project an air of coolness without looking like dicks or being so cliché and bland that nobody notices us? Leather jackets and jeans but with a cheeky feather boa? Sandals? Selfie sticks?
Maybe we just let the music do the work and wear whatever we fucking want? That’ll never work.